YOGABILITIES™: WORK OF HEART
My daughter, whose blog name is Bink, was diagnosed with autism in 1995. Since then, our world, mine and hers, has been very intertwined with other families and individuals with special needs, and organizations that serve them.
When I began my first Yoga teaching certification, I knew I wanted to create offerings to help Bink and others find a better quality of life. In 2005, I created Yogabilities™ adapted Yoga classes to bring the gifts of Yoga practice to individuals with disabilities who can benefit from a slower pace and simpler instruction.
Group classes are typically 60 minutes and employ the use of props such as flash cards, bean bags, and manipulatives to make Yoga fun and accessible. The physical component provides an opportunity for non-competitive exercise to those who may not be candidates for team sports. Together we stretch and work and play with postural awareness and strength and balance.
We also practice Yogic breathing and relaxation techniques–wonderful and portable tools for self-calming in a population that often struggles with anxiety. Each class ends with a deep relaxation. Handouts encourage generalization of the practice into daily life.
Yoga can truly be modified for nearly every age, stage and condition and the practice can be a lifelong source of healthful habits and joy.
I am humbled and honored to be in my 17th year of offering Yogabilities™ group and private sessions to a variety of individuals with special needs.